Sri Lanka’s export income fell 2.9 percent Year-on-Year (YoY) to US $ 797.5 million in February with both agricultural and industrial exports slowing down, the data released by the Central Bank showed.
The import expenditure fell even steeper by 9.3 percent YoY to US $ 1.43 billion with money spent on all three major import categories—consumer, intermediate and investment goods declining..
The trade gap narrowed 16.3 percent YoY to US $ 635.7 million in February and the trade gap narrowed 20.3 percent YoY in the first two months of 2013.
Export ear nings from agriculture exports fell 5.9 percent YoY to US $ 174.5 million. Earnings from tea exports and rubber exports fell 1.6 percent and 12.1 percent to US $ 103.4 million and US $ 66.1 million respectively.
However, earnings from textile and garment exports rose 8.8 percent to US $ 371.6 million.
Meanwhile, the import expenditure on fuel imports fell 17.2 percent YoY to US $ 17.2 percent while consumer goods imports fell 16.9 percent YoY to US $ 208.7 million.
Expenditure on textile and textile articles during February rose 18.3 percent YoY to US $ 355.6 million.
Expenditure on the import of machinery and equipment and building materials rose 3.1 percent and 4 percent YoY to US $ 166.5 million and US $ 104.6 million, respectively.
However, the import expenditure on transport equipment fell 28.2 percent to US $ 84.2 million.
During February, Sri Lanka received US $ 490 million as workers’ remittances, up by 4.2 percent and Colombo Stock Exchange received US $ 8.2 million in portfolio investment against US $ 16.3 million in February 2012.
Earnings from tourism during the month rose 20.7 percent YoY to US $ 102.6 million while inflows to the government– T-bills and bonds and long term loans– rose 31.3 percent to US $ 699.4 million.
The gross official reserves during February weakened slightly to US $ 6, 670 million from US $ 6,855 million in January.
In terms of months of imports, gross official reserves were equivalent to 4.3 months of imports.